Damn you, Tolstoy

I am 12 hours away from my Japanese exam. My very boring, very hideously out-of-touch-with-reality and, of course, very very very important Japanese exam. One would be expected at this time to be found making his hand painstakingly spill out hundreds of kanji and fervently parroting the numerous grammar rules, not starting a blog about, er… stuff. However, I couldn’t now pick up the grammar book even if every rule in it were with example sentences from Death Note and Brianna loves Jenna. Yes, it’s that bad.

Because I am. Fucking. Pissed.

Writing about all the reasons why I’m pissed at the moment would not only take too much of both your time and mine, it would make me even more angry, so I’ll just give you the latest one:

The afore-mentioned grammar book is in fact a bad photocopy of an English-Japanese grammar book that accompanies an at least 2 decade old textbook where the sole interesting thing is my imagination’s relentless urge to see the vast suppressed homo-erotic potential in Tanaka-san’s and Kobayashi-san’s undying love for merry picnics in the woods and goddamn taking pictures of goddamn Mt. Fuji every goddamn fucking day, like there’s nothing else to do in Japan ever.

I’ve ignored the scandalous fact that it’s in English, and not in Serbian, since mine is good enough, but that is not the case with most of the students. I’m not even touching the question of the quality of the content, or the complete lack of it. No, the thing that made me so angry I actually started a blog about it is the fact that it’s a bad photocopy.

They couldn’t have bothered with making a good, modern, Serbian-Japanese grammar, and we couldn’t have bothered with complaining enough to make a difference, because, barring the final years of the 90s, that would be too un-Serbian-like. But, they could have at least sold us a photocopy where the pages are not so fucking faded because some idiot couldn’t have fucking bothered checking the photocopy ink supply, so that you can now hardly, if at all, discern the kanji and only dream of reading the furigana.

On the sunnier side of things, I must say that although I still feel like a novice, I am very happy with my current progress in Japanese because, thanks to reading the thinking of some great people on the web and doing some of my own, I’ve devised a good method to actually learn that supposedly scary, alien thing. I’ve wanted to share my thoughts with the rest of You Out There and see what you think, and maybe we can all become a bit wiser without previously being angry.

So, here we are. This is the place where I’ll post my thoughts and ideas on learning Japanese, language learning in general, learning in general, life (in general, of course) and so on and so off. I have some ideas about how this thing could work and where I’d like to take it, but I’ll leave them on the stove a bit more ’till they’re ready for serving.

Until then, I’ll give you one quote that, were i the sort of person who makes Top-5 lists of everything relevant in their life, would be on the top of my list. And my prove-that-while-it’s-so-goddamn- true-it’s-not-true-for-me list. And my forehead, etched with a rusty nail in reverse, so that I can see… you get the idea.

It seldom happens that a man changes his life through his habitual reasoning. No matter how fully he may sense the new plans and aims revealed to him by reason, he continues to plod along in old paths until his life becomes frustrating and unbearable – he finally makes the change only when his usual life can no longer be tolerated.

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy


4 Responses to “Damn you, Tolstoy”

  1. Hey, Relja!

    This is a geat idea! As I had methodics (in teaching English as a 2nd language) exam, maybe I could help you. For starters – which authors have you studied on this subject? I have some really good books to recommed.


  2. uchideshi Says:

    Hey Una!

    I think you wanted to reply on the latest post, not on this one 🙂

    I’ve read a bit about Stephen Krashen and also the TPR (Total Physical Response), and I was inspired by the methods of some non-scientist people (google for Khatzumoto, Tae Kim, Michal Wojcik). Apart from that and some random articles on the web, not much, so anything you suggest is greatly appreciated 🙂

  3. […] A quiet beginning Some 6 months ago I started a blog. At the time there were several language-related themes I wanted to talk about, but what finally made me write the first post was other people’s shameless unprofessionalism. […]

  4. […] this was in my exam preparation. My department and the exams it comes up with are a mess in many ways, so I knew full well that I could only apply a few elements out of the perfect tango […]

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